BRIDGES - "Laboratori dal Mondo" in Florence


Sport and creative games to learn about cohesion

In July the "Laboratori dal Mondo" ("Workshops from all over the world") were held in District 5 of Florence as part of the BRIDGES EU-project: three afternoons of artistic, educational and sporting activities for children aged six to twelve, organised in the "Madonnina del Grappa" rooms owned by the "Opera della Divina Provvidenza".

Italian and foreign associations from District 5 of Florence came together to live and experience together sports, educational, artistic and cultural activities from all over the world. Children had the opportunity to travel around "5 continents" and at the end of the day print out their "World Traveler Passport". Each workshop took place under strict conditions and in compliance with the Covid-19 safety regulations.

All associations participating in this initiative planned their activities against geographical, ethnic-cultural and linguistic differences and also created new opportunities for exchange and interaction between the participants. Such as the use of the smartphone translator in the very amusing interaction between a little foreign girl and members of the association "La Città Bambina". During the workshop "Orto Bimbo" all used their social media functions to make the activities accessible to everyone. BRIDGES made it possible to overcome cultural barriers through sharing and acceptance on the social media channels and to reduce shyness and fear.

"I was amazed by the ease with which children can be enthusiastic and also by their obvious superiority over us adults, in that they adapted very quickly," said Giacomo Mei of the association "Il Colle", one of the people accompanying the children on their journey through the five continents. "Both girls and boys are very easy to get excited about, even if they naturally have and develop preferences. They show us that prejudices belong more to the world of adults and that it is very easy to overcome". 

Apart from a few participants who had come with friends or siblings, it was mainly unaccompanied children who responded. Even those who were initially insecure overcame the difficulties very quickly and integrated without any problems. As in the "Little Saviours Grow" action by "Misericordia di Rifredi", whose participants helped each other to simulate the first aid procedure. 

In the workshops, some children tried their hand at sports activities for the first time like tennis, rugby or football. Like a 12-year-old boy from Colombia who sees football as his big chance and was invited by coaches to participate in local training in September. The idea is to give him the opportunity to play the same sport as his father and uncle. The boy will be able to experience family traditions together with his friends from the neighbourhood. Other children had the opportunity to make new friends and allready exchanged contacts.

At the end the children were asked which part of the workshops they liked best. The answer was short but clear: "Everything!

09/09/20 10:28 back